Tapping trees for Syrup

Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 18:06:20-05

The warm weather is making for a sweet side effect: maple syrup. This weekend, rangers at Botna Bend Park in Hancock, Iowa will host a tree tap event for families.

Silver maple trees are typically the first species to "awaken" from their winter slumber, and KMTV got to tap a couple of trees Wednesday.

People can get the sap when the tree starts to wake from its dormancy. Rangers then tap the trees for the sap, which makes the syrup. This weekend, visitors will get to learn how to drill a hole into a tree using a hand operated bit. The hole is then cleaned, and a spire is inserted into the tree. The tree's sap then flows through plastic tubes into a 5-gallon bucket. The sap is then boiled down to evaporate moisture and to concentrate natural sugars. That 5-gallon bucket will yield about a pint of syrup. It takes between 40 and 50 gallons of tree sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

Rangers say the tapping doesn't damage to the tree.

The event is held by Pottawattamie County Conservation, an organization that promotes outdoor activities and environmental education in southwest Iowa.

Botna Bend park is at 42926 Mahogany Road. The event runs at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.